I haven't posted too much on the health care bill, because I don't feel qualified. It's an extremely complex bill, and I have neither the policy expertise nor the time to research it all. I am personally very, very reassured because my son has one hell of a pre-existing condition, and we will need to switch insurance in 2-3 years. That was a serious worry, and I'm relieved I can check that off the list of Things That Might Go Horribly Wrong in My Middle Term Future. Whether it is in the country's best interest to give me such reassurance, I don't pretend to be sure.
That said, I'm going to make like the TV guys and cover up my lack of policy knowledge by making a gut-level political prediction. The health care bill won't matter much to the November elections. This prediction is based on the following beliefs, for which I have little to no actual evidence:
1) If a voter is apt to swing (mee-ow!), then she is less apt to respond to policy concerns than she is to respond to the candidates' personal strengths/weaknesses, and the current economic conditions.
2) Faits accomplis have a way of becoming part of the scenery, and certainly much less terrifying. I think there are very few people who are going to get worked up over it, who are not already worked up over it. And there are many people who are concerned about it who will become less so, just because the fact that the bill even got passed is an odd sort of psychological imprimateur. It will be interesting to see if this bounce holds.
3) Most people will experience no change in health coverage between now and November. If they experience any change (as I will), it will be a positive one.
4) Eight months is a political eternity. At this point in 2008, all the talk was about white working class voters, big states, and delegate math. There was a general perception that Obama had a glass jaw and was too effete yet unknowledgable to get anything done (no matter what you think of him, that was not the public perception of him right before November 2008, and even less so now). Think what happened to change political perceptions between then and November: Lehman Bros, Sarah Palin. The health care bill is unlikely to be foremost in most voters' minds.
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